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International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition
Rules and Regulations

American University Washington College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society (the Organizers) seek submissions of papers for the third International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition. To view the rules as a PDF document, click here.


1. Students must currently be enrolled, as of January 31, 2013, in a law degree program (JD, LLM or equivalent) at an ABA accredited U.S. law school or foreign law school with an equivalent accreditation. In order to verify enrollment, all submissions must be accompanied by a Confirmation of Enrollment form (to be submitted online along with the paper submission or by mail or fax).

2. Students must submit an unpublished, unedited paper written solely by the candidate in English or translated into English (if written in another language).

3. Submissions must be academic papers on a topic of international humanitarian law. For the purposes of this competition, international humanitarian law means that area of international law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities or armed conflict. Examples of acceptable topics include, but are not limited to: peacekeeping versus peace enforcement; the intersections between international humanitarian law and international human rights law; and women in armed conflict. Submissions that fall outside the scope of international humanitarian law will not be considered. For guidance as to which subjects qualify as international humanitarian law, please visit the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross, http://www.icrc.org/eng/index.jsp.

4. The papers must not exceed 25 pages, including footnotes. The body should be double-spaced and written in Times New Roman, font size 12. Footnotes should be single-spaced in Times New Roman, font size 10.  All margins should be 1 inch (approximately 2.5 cm) each.

5.  Sources must be cited according to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (basic rules available at http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/).

6. Authors must keep copies of all source materials, i.e., photocopies of all pages used from a particular source, and must provide them to the Organizers upon request.

7. Only one submission will be accepted per student. If the Organizers receive more than one paper, none of the student’s submissions will be considered.


The Organizers will grant two awards for the two best papers submitted. The Organizers reserve the right to make one award or no award in the event that the submitted articles presented do not meet the minimum requirements and standards as determined by the Organizers. The Award for the two winning authors will consist of:

1. Travel to and accommodation in Washington, DC, to present the papers at a conference of IHL experts at American University Washington College of Law in Spring 2013. (Some restrictions apply.)

2. Complimentary registration at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, April 3-6, 2013, in Washington, DC.

3. One-year student membership with the American Society of International Law.

4. A certificate confirming that the student has won the 2013 International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition.


  • The deadline for submissions is Thursday, January 31, 2013, by 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • Articles should be submitted via email to TeachingIHL@wcl.american.edu as Microsoft Word attachments. Each person submitting a paper must fill also out and submit a Submission Form (click here to download) and a Confirmation of Enrollment Form (click here to download). Students experiencing difficulty using the form should email questions to TeachingIHL@wcl.american.edu.
  • Students will receive an e-mail confirmation that their submission was received no later than 24 hours after the submission deadline and should contact the organizers in the event they do not receive a confirmation e-mail.


  • The Organizers will announce the winning authors in March, 2013, via the Organizers’ website (www.WCLCenterforHR.org).
  • The Organizers will contact the winning authors immediately to make the necessary arrangements for travel to Washington, DC.


  • Submissions plagiarized in whole or in part shall automatically be disqualified.  Plagiarism is defined as “the act or an instance of copying or stealing another’s words or ideas and attributing them as one’s own.” Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: 1) verbatim copying of another’s written or spoken work, in whole or in part, without the use of quotation marks and attribution and 2) failure to cite the paraphrasing of another’s thoughts or ideas so as to pass them off as one’s own.
  • The Organizers reserve the right to re-publish the winning articles for two years following the date of the author’s notification of winning the Competition. The Organizers reserve the right to publish them in a written or electronic format and to disseminate them as judged appropriate. Upon the expiration of this right, the Organizers shall seek permission from the author to re-publish the article.
  • In the event a situation arises that is not included herein, the Organizers will resolve it at their own discretion and will inform the participants thereof.
  • Application for the competition presupposes acceptance of the terms described herein.

Bryan A. Garner, Black’s Law Dictionary 528 (2d ed. 2001).